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Can Rhododendrons Grow In Full Sun? [Easy Guide]

The prized blooms of Rhododendrons grow vigorously and get more pronounced when provided with excellent care aided by the subtle warmth of the daily morning full sun.

Depending on the variety of Rhododendrons, some grow finest when planted in full sun to partial bright shade. Nevertheless, all Rhododendrons must only be exposed to direct afternoon sun in summer for a short time if you are in relatively warmer hardiness zones.

Not all Rhododendrons are entirely sun tolerant; some species are prone to scalding when left in full sun.

Thus, read along the article to know which Rhododendrons grow finest in full sun and which ones in partial bright shade.

Do Rhododendrons Like Sun or Shade?

A cousin of Azalea, Rhododendrons belongs to the Rhododendron genus of the Ericaceae family.

In nature, they thrive in the partial shade of tall trees in temperate rainforests, alpine regions and coniferous woodlands.

However, Rhododendrons are not entirely shade plants and require direct sunlight to speed up growth and put out colorful blooms.

Some Rhododendrons species like the full sun while others thrive finest in partial shade or dappled sunlight.

Remember, flowering plants like Rhododendrons in full shade grow slower and barely flower.

But Anna Rose Whitney, English Roseum, Snow Lady, Desmit, Janet Blair, etc., are hybrid Rhododendron varieties that flower better in partial shade with minimal full sun.

Furthermore, Rhododendron calendulaceum, canescens and catawbiense also like a shade more than full sun.

Do you know Rhododendron is the national flower of Nepal, a country with the highest peak, Mount Everest?

Can Rhododendrons Grow in Full Sun?

Despite being famous as shade plants, Rhododendrons do not make a fuss and grow well in full sun to medium shade.

But Scintillation, Caroline and Yakushimanum Rhododendron hybrids prefer deep shade and are prone to get sunburn from the afternoon sun.

Thus, full sun tolerance varies from Rhododendron species to species.

Rhododendron species that like full sunRhododendron species that like shade
R. impeditumR. calendulaceum
R. lutescensR. canescens
R. augustinii ssp. augustiniiR. catawbiense
R. racemosumR. Anna Rose Whitney
R. trichostomumR. Elviira
R. augustinii ssp. chasmanthumR. Janet Blair

Meanwhile, Rhododendrons grown in full sun are prone to lace bug infestation and root rot, so aim for subtle shade in summer.

Likewise, incorporate afternoon shade using Burlap clothes if you reside in warmer USDA zones 9 to 11.

rhododendron flower buds in full sun
The afternoon sun can become unbearable in warmer zones with a spiked transpiration rate. So, plant Rhododendrons in place with afternoon shade.

Otherwise, regardless of sun tolerance, Rhododendrons are prone to scorching with brown spots on yellow, dry leaves.

On the contrary, Rhododendrons in deep shade result in lanky, leggy growth and infrequent flowering.

Here, despite being the Rhododendron that likes shade, they still need a few hours of daily tender morning sunlight.

Therefore, carefully place the shade-loving species somewhere they receive indirect bright or dappled sunlight sufficiently.

Editor’s Note

More Sunlight Equals More Flowers!

Ensure to provide your Rhododendrons with at least six hours of daily sunlight to encourage better flowering.

However, avoid placing them under afternoon sunlight for too long as they can sunburnt, leaving all yellow with brown spots.

All The Best!